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Edition 98, April 2012

EFIL Programme Directors meet in Poland From 16 to 21 March, 21 Programme Directors and Programme staff met in Poland for the annual EFIL Programme Directors meeting. The old city of Krakow provided the perfect setting for three intense days of workshops, information sessions, debates and discussions aiming at better understanding each other’s realities, sharing best practices and learning from each other, looking for common solutions and improving the overall programme quality. For more detailed information, see page 2.

EFIL Academy

EFIL Calendar

- Programme Directors meet in Krakow

23-29 April

-Seminar on school relations – three testimonies

EFIL Seminar on 18+ programmes, Turkey

13-20 May

EFIL Seminar Volunteering and Intercultural Competence, Switzerland

20-22 May

Training Advisory Body meeting, Zürich, Switzerland

8-10 June

EFIL Board meeting, Baden, Switzerland

10-12 June

EFIL Heads of Office meeting, Zürich, Switzerland

11 June

EFIL Extra-ordinary General Assembly, Zürich, Switzerland

11-19 July

EFIL Training for Trainers, Ikskile, Latvia

16-21 July

EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit, Latvia


EFIL Leadership and Governance Seminar (to be confirmed)


EFIL Volunteer Training on Project Management

-Apply for the EFIL Training for Trainers on conflict management!

EFIL Programmes and Project - Update on EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit

- Intercultural Dialogue Day in Slovenia and Serbia

EFIL Advocacy

EFIL Partner News

– Welcome to the new members of the EPOR

- Partner news

– Meeting with exchange organisations umbrellas

- Scholarships for programmes AFS Germany

– Erasmus for All – an update


– EFIL attending EU-Youth Conference

-Goodbye Stefania

Policy developments in Europe

27 September

Intercultural Dialogue Day

4-6 October

Third Forum on Intercultural Learning and Exchanges, Vienna, Austria

19-21 October

EFIL Board meeting, Helsinki, Finland

7-10 November EFIL Heads of Office meeting, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

AFS Switzerland

2-6 December

EFIL European Citizenship Trimester Programme, Brussels Camp, Belgium


EFIL Meeting of Organisational Development Coordinators

Training for Trainers in Poland 2011

EFIL - The European Federation for Intercultural Learning is the umbrella organisation of AFS organisations in Europe

EFIL Programme Directors meet in Poland KRAKOW,


The programme further included a poster session for partner organisations to share information on programme development. A panel discussion put the spotlight on the young member organisations in South Eastern Europe (BIH, SRB, CRO, SLO), plus Slovakia and Poland, and focused on their successes and challenges. There were presentations on the work of EFIL in various activity fields (training, projects and programmes, advocacy, partner development), and on developments in the AFS network. Specific session topics included “AFS and social media” and “AFS standards and procedures”. Input was also collected for the PSG working group. Participants very much enjoyed an evening meeting with the Polish volunteers of the future AFS organisation in Poland.

From 16 to 21 March, 21 Programme Directors and Programme staff met in Poland for the annual EFIL Programme Directors meeting. The old city of Krakow provided the perfect setting for three intense days of workshops, information sessions, debates and discussions aiming at better understanding each other’s realities, sharing best practices and learning from each other, looking for common solutions and improving the overall programme quality. The meeting enjoyed the participation of staff from EFIL’s member organisations in Belgium Flanders and Belgium French, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia, Switzerland, Slovakia and Turkey. We were very honoured to have also non-EFIL partners South Africa and Argentina participating, which made the event a truly global international meeting. Through the presence of Melissa Liles, AFS International contributed to the Programme Directors meeting with a half day session focusing on Intercultural Learning, helping us to reflect on roles and identities as educational organisations, and to better understand the network-wide ICL strategy and available opportunities. Thank you, Melissa!

EFIL would like to thank Magda Porebska and Urszula Sienczak from the Polish partner foundation (Fundacja Im. Ks. Siemaszki) and the Polish “Global Citizens” volunteers for hosting the meeting and for taking care of all of us so well. And of course, without the valuable inputs and contributions of the participants the event wouldn’t have been the success it was – thanks a lot to the whole group for actively participating! More information: izabela.jurczik-arnold@afs.org

Seminar on school relations EINSIEDHELN,SWITZERLAND I am Cengiz from Turkey, I did my exchange year in the USA (2008-2009). The great experience from our exchange years is why we still want to do something as volunteers for AFS. We are still learning from each other, it doesn’t matter if you are staff or volunteer.

experiences within their own local chapters. When high school students and a principal visited the seminar for a couple of hours, we had a chance to ask our questions. The prep team did a great job, we had a really useful seminar schedule. All participants took home a lot from the seminar. We also made concrete plans for the future, so we left ready to start improving school relations in our organisations.

Last month I got a message through my local chapter from the Istanbul office. It was about EFIL’s school relations seminar. School issues have a huge importance for exchange students, so improving the cooperation with schools is a priority for my national organisation. I saw the seminar also as a great opportunity for our local chapter because meeting staff members and volunteers from many countries gives a chance to learn from each other. All participants had something to contribute about school relations, including problems they had faced as well as positive

I would like to say thank you to all the participants, to EFIL and to prep team with Eva Vitkova, Flaminia Bizzarri, Dunja Zivanovic and Izabela Jurczik-Arnold. And also thanks to AFS Switzerland for hosting us for this seminar. Cengiz OĞUZOĞLU, Turkey


The seminar… The first thing I remember is the diversity of people which made me smile. It was great to have the opportunity to participate in this seminar, and meet new people and learn about their cultures and ideologies. All the stories, new resources and connections that I discovered have helped me to become a more useful and knowledgeable volunteer.

the same passion. And that passion is called AFS. It’s also called peace, understanding, interculturality. This seminar helped me to move on in the growing process of my intercultural and volunteering life. My luggage came to Portugal heavier with knowledge, friendships, desire to expand and develop the AFS circle. And big smile on my face! Becoming a part of an international family is what we did during that week.

Being with people from different countries, staff or volunteers, new or experienced, young and older, made me understand that differences don’t matter when we share

Cristiana Gonçalves, Portugal

Just to begin with expectations I had before heading to Switzerland... As a language teacher I had come across some lessons about foreign countries. Switzerland has always been this far away country somewhere in the mountains, where people eat cheese and chocolate, and have candies with herbs…

soon as we started talking, we found out that we had things in common. I even refreshed my poor Hungarian and Czech/Slovak. And I met fellow colleagues from The Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Turkey. I soon got the answer to the chocolate mystery. Coffee breaks turned out to be chocolate breaks! Oh my, there was a lot of chocolate.

Then I got an invitation to the seminar. Hmm, I thought, I know almost everything about the country, I know the language, this was looking good. But, the request that came with the invitation - to bring some cheese and chocolate from my country – sounded a bit strange so I did not know what to expect.

But it was not the cheese and chocolate story that I brought back to Serbia from Einsiedeln. In our sessions we discussed a lot about school networking. I have been back in Serbia for a month since then and I still have a lot of information to sort out. Not to mention all the AFS friends I need to start contacting. I enjoyed every minute of it; I hope we will meet again somewhere soon. Maybe on some class exchange?

Participants came from all over the Europe (and even from the US!) to a place called Einsiedeln, Switzerland. We looked at each other; there were people of all ages. The language of communication was English, and as

Svetlana Rackov Ješić, Belgrade, Serbia

VSS! Application deadline prolonged to 1st May! LATVIA over the world to bring the news to their volunteers and motivate them to apply to be part of the biggest, not -to-be-missed AFS volunteer event of the year. We hope to receive the final applications by the 1st of May but are willing to consider late applications too.

By now surely everybody is familiar with the abbreviation “VSS” and words and expressions linked to it: Latvia, workshops, ICL, 200 volunteers, making new friends, cool leisure activities… As we are approaching the end of April, many AFS volunteers are in a sweet haste to make arrangements for their activities in

The Prep Team The VSS Venue

the summer months, and for many this includes in being present at EFIL’s fifth edition of the Volunteer Summer Summit!

The preparations of the VSS are moving swiftly and the preparatory team has already put together the trainers team for the event. The team includes six full time and four half time trainers, one external expert and four participants who will contribute with a workshop. This year again we will use the training track system, which was successfully introduced last year, this way creating an efficient and easier process for the selection of workshops by the participants. Track themes will be: Intercultural Learning , Leadership and Governance, Sustainable Development, Human Rights Education, Peace Education, Solidarity and Inclusion, Expert track, Basic Skill Training track.

The volunteers who applied in the first round have already received confirmation and have continued the registration process. Now the time has come for the AFS volunteers who have not applied yet for the Volunteer Summer Summit to take action! To apply, simply go to www.efilsummersummit.org and find the “MySummit “page! So far 205 volunteers have applied. There are still spaces available and since we will have the whole venue for ourselves, we are not strictly limited by deadlines for applying! We hereby encourage AFS organisations all

For more information: gizem.bayer@afs.org


Apply for the EFIL Training for Trainers on conflict management!


Following the annual tradition, EFIL is offering another Training for Trainers for the AFS volunteers. Taking place 1119 July 2012 in Riga, Latvia, it will be connected to the EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit (16-21 July). This will give an excellent opportunity to experience both events from a very active point of view! The thematic focus of this year’s TfT is also very attractive: improving conflict management skills. Volunteers need constant training in the field of conflict resolution and mediation, which should be provided by skilled trainers.

liver their own training modules to the VSS participants. The interactive programme of the event will emphasise self-directed, participatory and experiential learning. One of the main tasks of the trainers/ facilitators will be to maximise the use of competence already present in the participants’ group. The main goal of this project is therefore to train AFS trainers to help others in

The training course is funded by the EU Youth in Action programme, however all interested countries (also nonEuropean) are welcome to participate. Interested candidates should apply by filling in the application form which they can obtain from their AFS national organisations. The national AFS organisations should send the pre-selected candidates to EFIL by the 24th of April. If you would like to participate do not miss this deadline, only a few days are left now!

dealing with intercultural conflicts. The training course will consist of two general parts: the “learning” phase when participants will explore trainer skills and the conflict issues, and the “practice/ implementation” phase when they will prepare and de-

For more information: izabela.jurczik-arnold@afs.org


Intercultural Dialogue Day 2011 in South Eastern Europe: focus on Slovenia and Serbia In each edition of EFILife we are looking back at events that took place at last year’s Intercultural Dialogue Day. This month we focus on our member organisations in Slovenia and Serbia. The article below contains extracts from reports received from various chapters. For more information: elisa.briga@afs.org.

Interkultura Serbia goes to school Intercultural Dialogue Day in Serbia was an event that united volunteers, AFS returnees, hosted students and high school students in five Serbian schools. Everybody worked on the

same goal: promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding through intercultural learning. It was a day full of AFS balloons, T-shirts, leaflets and most importantly, talks about AFS and exchange programmes. The aim was to promote intercultural learning and AFS programmes among high school students and use the opportunity to develop the cooperation with schools. Volunteers went to five schools that host AFS students and set up workshops and presentations with students. Thanks to media coverage in some of the schools, Intercultural Dialogue Day helped Interkultura Serbia to

Interkultura Slovenia hosts and Intercultural Living Room in the center of Maribor Intercultural Dialogue Day in Slovenia turned out to be a day-long event happening in the city center of Maribor- Trg svobode. An Intercultural Living Room was set up by volunteers of the Maribor chapter and two AFS exchange students, who actively helped promoting the intercultural spirit among the crowd.

Volunteers invited pedestrians to sit down, talk with them and share experiences, or simply have a good time while munching on delicious chocolate chip muffins. AFS volunteers approached people of all walks of life, including students and families, young and old, locals as well as tourists, Erasmus students, etc. Volunteers handed out flyers and told their own stories of intercultural learning. More importantly, the volunteers were approached by many by-passers, who wanted to know more about Intercultural Dialogue Day and about AFS in particular. There was a great interst with people that walked by, and this was not only because of the yummy sweets offered!


increase its visibility. Two great outcomes of the day: all Serbian AFS volunteers worked together as one big team and AFS moved closer to high school students in Serbia!

Good-bye message from Stefania STEFANIA FRANCESCON, EFIL INTERN 2011/2012 One year ago, I was looking for a personally and professionally enriching experience abroad and I was granted a scholarship by the Italian CRT Foundation for an internship at EFIL in the field of Partner Development. This is how my adventure with the AFS world started! However, I discovered not only the AFS world, but also the “AFS family”: a bunch of friendly and welcoming people committed to their job, always with a smile on their faces and a deep respect for others.

looked for funding, developed new ideas, started projects, and much more. One of the highlights was the seminar in Bucharest in February 2012, where I met committed people from different member organisations interested in discussing the further development of AFS in Romania and Bulgaria. A lot still needs to be done (and this leaves plenty of space for new ideas to come!). However, I have the feeling that at least the seeds have been planted and things are starting to develop. In the next year, Inga and Giorgio (my “successor”, see the next edition of EFILife) will move on with Romania and Bulgaria. Next to this, I really enjoyed participating in the training on project management in Latvia, and the ECTP 2011 Brussels camp as a member of the support team. These were great opportunities to meet and work together with AFS volunteers… and to discover that there is a lot in common with what I used to do with the scouts!

My first three weeks I spent with Intercultura in Colle Val d’Elsa, where I was warmly welcomed and I gained a lot of useful knowledge. Then I moved to Brussels and started my work at EFIL. Over the past year I was assisting Inga with her wrok in the field of Partner Development, with a view of starting up AFS operations in Bulgaria and Romania, and to support the young AFS organisations in South-East Europe.

So, it’s time to say goodbye to all the nice people that I met with EFIL and AFS, people who have inspired me and taught me a lot. I take all the special moments with me!

As for Romania and Bulgaria, it was quite challenging to look for interested people and organisations and start building up relations. The first feasibility visit in September 2011 was the time when I realised that plans were starting to come true… I could finally match “faces” with the “e-mail contacts”! We have been in touch continuously with our contacts in the two countries, met sponsors and representatives from the relevant institutions,

Partner News

A special thanks and goodbye goes to the EFIL staff – my wonderful colleagues and friends - with whom I shared many sunny days (despite the weather in Brussels!). And since my experience in Brussels continues with another youth organisation, it will be even easier to keep in touch with EFIL and the AFS family!

In each edition of EFILife, we dedicate some space to partner news, including personnel changes as well as relevant events that have taken place over the past month.

AFS Belgium Flanders

AFS Norway From AFS Norway comes the news that the National Director, Rune Fimreite, has handed in his resignation. The Board of AFS Norway expressed its sincere thanks to Rune for the good results he has managed to accomplish within his relatively short time as Director. The Board has already started the process to find Rune’s successor.

In AFS Belgium Flanders, Flanders Siska Phlips has started her parental leave. She will be back in the office on 2 July. Julie Lambrechts will replace Siska for these three months of absence. In the meantime all questions concerning visa and other programme related issues should be addresses to: Julie.lambrechts@afs.org.

AFS Russia On 31 March, the former Chair of AFS Russia and formerTrustee Sergey Filonovich celebrated his 60th birthday. Sergey Filonovich, a University professor, invited people to his open lecture "Creativity and Freedom" and after that to an auction where 15 books written by him were presented as lots. All the proceeds of the auction will be used for a scholarship for a young person eager to participate in the AFS programme but whose family cannot afford payment. The auction was a tremendous success and a girl from Volgograd has been selected to become the beneficiary of this very special scholarship.


AFS Switzerland On 24 March about 80 members and international guests attended the 55th General Assembly of AFS Switzerland that took place in Sion. Last year elected Chairperson Matti Straub led through the formal part of the GA that had its highlights with giving the volunteer of the year 2011 award to Lisa Marti. At the GA the priorities for 2012 have

been presented: increasing options for English speaking programmes, enhancement of programmes for corporate partners, enhancement of the 18+ area in general. Four Board members with different profiles were (re)elected and the actual board consists now of nine members, with Matti Strauss as Chair and Evelyne Suter as Vice-Chair.

AFS Germany AFS Belgium Flanders ceeds Elisabeth Hardt, who had served as a member of the board since 2006. Elisabeth took along best wishes of the assembly for her new role as a member of the Board of Trustees of the AFS-network. The General Assembly passed a notion to focus attention of German AFS-staff and volunteers on long-term high school programmes, school relations, programme quality and volunteerism.

At the end of a vivid Alex Weiser General Assembly in AFS GER's Saarbrücken,17-18 March, new ViceAlex Weiser was elected Chair to become the new ViceChair of the Board of AFS Germany. Germany He already serves on the board since 2008. Alex suc-

Scholarships for programmes AFS Germany Our member organisation AFS Germany has announced two major programmes for which scholarship have been made available.

cy of written and spoken German, as the first semesters will be taught in German (the programme then switches to English). The scholarship opportunity will be granted for the programme start in September 2012. The application deadline is July 15.

The AFSAFS-Scholarship for studying at Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe, Germany The cooperation between AFS Germany and the Karlshochschule International University in Karlsruhe has entered its 4th year. Benefiting from this cooperation are again AFS returnees, because the Karlshochschule offers a special scholarship for tuition in a 3 yearbachelor degree programme on “Intercultural Management and Communication” to candidates with an AFS background. This opportunity is especially interesting for AFS returnees that have been on a programme to Germany or have otherwise developed a high proficien-

Further information on the programme can be found at the website of the Karlshochschule: http://karlshochschule.de/en/my-studies/interculturalmanagement-and-communication/ And there is also a flyer about the programme: http:// issuu.com/karlshochschule/docs/dt_web/3 If you have any questions regarding the scholarship or the programme, please contact Jessicca Bast at the Karlshochschule (mailto:jbast@karlshochschule.de).

First AsiaAsia- Europe XX- Cultural Summer Academy in Malaysia – registration now open, scholarships available From August 27- September 7, 2012, AFS Germany and AFS Malaysia will for the first time organise the “AsiaEurope X-Cultural Summer Academy”. In summer, it will take place in Bangi, Malaysia. This Academy is a twoweek course on Intercultural Learning, which will be organized by five partners from Asia and Europe: AFS Malaysia, AFS Germany and InterCultur gGmbH are the co-organisers with University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Karlshochschule International University be-

ing project partners. This academy will focus on intercultural topics with emphasis on Intercultural Communication, Culture and Society with the intention of fostering the intercultural understanding between European and Asian students. The Summer Academy will be held in English and is open to anyone aged 18-35 with a demonstrable interest in the field of intercultural communications and management. Primary target groups are undergraduate students and young professionals with a background or interest in intercultural experiences.


AFS Germany is pleased to announce that in 2012 about 25 (mainly partial) scholarships will be awarded to qualified applicants. For tuition scholarship applications, please visit: http://summeracademy-malaysia.org/fees/tuitionscholarships/

for participants from the AFS network. These scholarships AFS are granted through AFS International's Diversity Interational Fund, in support of the AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program.. Please note that you also need to register for the Summer Academy till May 31st 2012 in order to be considered for an AFS scholarship.

Apart from the general tuition scholarships there will be 2 partial scholarships (one for a participant from Europe and one for a participant from Asia) available especially

For more information and registration please visit the webpage: http://summeracademy-malaysia.org

Welcome to the new members of the European Pool of Representatives! BRUSSELS, BELGIUM One year ago EFIL started its European Pool of Representatives (EPOR), a new structure aimed at supporting the secretariat’s work in the field of advocacy, aiming to improve the environment for youth exchanges in Europe and to profile EFIL as a respected and expert actor in the area of intercultural learning, global education, youth mobility and volunteerism. The main task of the EPOR is to represent EFIL externally in different areas and contribute to policy monitoring.

In February, a call for additional EPOR members was launched. All applications received were of great quality and EFIL selected six AFS volunteers from different countries to join the existing group of 24 representatives. Their mandate is from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013, when the whole EPOR will be renewed. Congratulations to Charlotte, Dani, Kamil, Zoe, Babina and Silvia for taking the initiative to join and good luck in their future engagements as representatives!

For more information: elisa.briga@afs.org.


Hanneke Boode, Lieven Bauwens, Stephanie Langerock


Yves Gheysen


Kamil Provaznik Eva Vitkova


Charlo e Klin ng


Daniel Jara Fernandez


Liisa Vi1kkala, Anni Siltanen


Zoe Duplessis-Kergomard, Michel Antoine


Babina von der Heydt, Wolf-Chris1an Frey, Anna-Maria Haas, Anne Hitzegrad, Julia Jürgens, Paul Steiner, Ole Oberste Berghaus, Alexandra Singpiel


András Ede, Balazs Lato, Eliza Popper


Silvia Piere o, Edoardo Lauren1


Edwin Kovalchuck


Tana Debeljak


Stéphanie Oneyser, Karin BiAerli


Mehmet Hazar Yıldırım

Meeting with the exchange organisations umbrellas


In November 2011 in Biel, Switzerland, EFIL and EEEYFU met for the first time with the National Platforms of Exchange organisations, to which AFS and YFU Partners belong, namely Intermundo (SUI), SPIL (NED), AJA (GER) and UNSE (FRA). The meeting was inspiring and showed that there was an interest in exploring further what are the advocacy fields where national and European advocacy efforts can be joined.

sentatives from other European youth organisations as Civil Service International (SCI), Youth for Exchange and Understanding (YEU) and the European Youth Forum (YFJ). Later in the morning, we were honoured by the presence of Ms Agniezka Drzewoska, a Policy officer of the European Commission – DG Home Affairs. Ms Drzewoska made a presentation on the Council Directive 2004/14, also called visa directive, its implementation and its upcoming revision. The directive includes provisions for students, pupils and volunteers from third countries who enter the EU. Two provisions specifically target pupils, therefore it was of great interest to hear from the Commission how the directive is implemented and what the drawbacks are, especially considering that the directive regulates the issue of residence permits and not of visas, since the EU had no competence on this matter at the time when the Directive was published.

EFIL volunteered to host in Brussels the second meeting of this informal group, since the participants had showed interest in getting to know better the European advocacy environment. On Tuesday 17 April, EFIL was pleased to welcome at its premises EEE-YFU, Intermundo, AJA, UNSE, and also SAFU, the umbrella of exchange organisations in Denmark. The meeting was facilitated by EFIL and started with a session where organisations got to know each other, and also met repre-


Participants explored in working groups the major issues faced by pupils and volunteers from third countries when entering the EU. The contributions received in the past two weeks from the Advocacy Liaisions of various AFS Partner Organisations were extremely helpful to provide a quality input to Ms Drzewoska. Ms Dzewoska was very interested in our experience with the issue of visas and residence permits and is eager to further cooperate with youth exchange organisations. In May the public consultation for the revision of the directive will be launched, and each AFS partner is invited to contribute! In the afternoon the National platforms of exchange organisations, together with EEE-YFU and EFIL, discussed on future steps to follow up on the topic of visas

and residence permits and also shared the updates from their networks and the major issues they are facing, namely recognition of exchanges, health insurance, host families finding, the Commission proposal for the Erasmus for All programme. The group was satisfied of the cooperation and decided to meet twice per year (spring and autumn). Focus will be on relevant issues that are of major interest to all: visas, accessibility of information on youth exchanges, recognition of exchanges. This informal group doesn’t have a name yet, but it has motivation and clear objectives! More information: elisa.briga@afs.org

Erasmus for All – An update!

The point of view of the European Parliament: The CULT Committee of the European Parliament, who is in charge of drafting an opinion on the Commission proposal, is critical on the proposal itself. The criticism is also supported by representatives of National Agencies of the LLP programme who underline that there is a need for separate programmes for different target groups. At the moment, Doris Pack, the rapporteur of the CULT Committee, is collecting input from stakeholders. At the end of May the CULT Committee will discuss the proposal again and by mid July the draft report will be presented, with amendments to the Commission proposal. The point of view of Member states: The feedback from the Youth Conference of the EU Danish Presidency is that most Members states are in favour of a separate youth programme. During the Youth Conference, the Commissioner for Education, Youth and Sport, Androulla Vassiliou asked participants

to gather 10 reasons why a separate programme is needed. Participants already drafted 10: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_ts0H8Q14E). In mid May the Council of member states will debate on the proposal. The advocacy initiatives of the European Youth Forum and EUCISEUCIS- LLL The European Youth Forum drafted the document ‘European Youth Forum’s recommendations for the Erasmus for All Proposal’ which includes recommendations developed by the European Youth Forum itself and 30 Stakeholders coalition – the informal group facilitated by EUCIS-LLL and works together to ensure better EU programmes in the field of education, training and youth. This document is aimed at helping member organisations in the advocacy efforts.

More informa1on: elisa.briga@afs.org

How can YOU help? Tell everyone how Youth in Action changed your life through an EFIL activity you attended! Send us a picture, a story, a video…all this is very useful to advocate for a youth programme towards the European Parliament and the Council. Send your contribution to: elisa.briga@afs.org Like the WHERE ARE YOU GOING? campaign on Facebook and promote it among friends inside and outside the AFS network! Send the postcards of the Campaign to Members of the European Parliament and Ministry of Education/ Youth in your country! If you do, please coordinate with your AFS office! You can write this message enclosed to the postcard: AFS (name of the country) is a youth organisation promoting secondary school-based exchange of students

ranging from age 16 to 18 who stay abroad for one year or less. In addition, AFS (name of your country) offers Community Service Programmes (in case you do). Thanks to EFIL, the European Federation of AFS organisations financed through the Youth in Action programme, our young volunteers participate in non formal education activities in an European environment. These opportunities contribute to their personal development and the building up of soft skills that are key for making them Active European Citizens and contribute to their employability and integration in society. The Regulation proposal for 'Erasmus for all', the new programme in the field of Education, Training, Youth and Sport does not envisage operational funding for European youth organisations as EFIL. Without this funding, youth will miss the chance of feeling European citizens. What is Europe without European Citizens?

EFIL attending the EUEU-Youth Conference and contributing to structured dialogue DANISH EU PRESIDENCY

Eliza Popper, member of EFIL’s European Pool of Representatives (EPOR), represented EFIL at the Youth Conference organized by the Danish Presidency in Soro, Denmark, on 18-21 March 2012.

and the European Commission. The outcome of the EU Youth Conference serves as input for Council Conclusions, to be adopted by the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council in May 2012. Moreover, the practical recommendations worked out by participants wil be promoted among various institutional stakeholders within the structured dialogue process and its follow up.

The EU-Youth Conferences are among the milestones of the structured dialogue process that serves as a forum for continuous joint reflection on the priorities, implementation and follow-up of European cooperation in the youth field. There is one EU-Youth Conference for every EU Presidency semester. The EU-Youth Conferences build upon the results of national consultations led in the 27 member states of the European Union, and also on the input that International Non Governmental Youth Organisations (IYNGOs) submit.

The EU-Youth conferences are usually attended only by representatives of National Youth Councils. Lately EU Presidencies are giving also to IYNGOs like EFIL, the chance to participate to structured dialogue. EFIL (EPOR) will be able to take part in this democratic process of the European Union, aimed at shaping youth policy according to the needs voiced by young people. EFIL’s presence in this field of advocacy gives the opportunity to AFS volunteers to implement the values of active citizenship that they develop through our Ms Christine ANTORINI, Danish Minister for Children programmes. and Education and Ms Androulla VASSILIOU,

During the EU-Youth Conference, youth delegates and representatives of youth ministries from EU Member States worked jointly to develop practical recommendations on increasing young people's participation in democratic life European Commissioner for Education, Culture, and in civil society. Want to know more? Joint Multilinguism and Youth Recommendations were put recommendations drafted by together on the issue of support youth delegates and DGs during the conference: http:// and funding structures as well as on how youth www.youthforum.org/images/stories/Documents/ organisations can involve more unorganised youth and Joint_recommendations_EU_YOUTH_CONFERENCE_S foster creativity and innovation. ORO_20_March.pdf At the conference there were around 225 participants from National Youth Councils (NYCs) and DirectoratesGeneral for youth from EU, candidate countries and EF- Videos prepared by the participants of the different TA (European Free Trade Alliance) Member States, as workshops: http://europa.eu/youth/index.cfm?l_id=en well as from International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations (INGYOs), the European Youth Forum (YFJ) More information: elisa.briga@afs.org

Policy developments in Europe This compilation is based on information collected by EFIL from various sources on the internet.

EU Enlargement One step closer to the EU

proach in the process of accession as Iceland is moving closer to European Union membership. However, the country is unlikely to conclude negotiations before the parliamentary elections in April 2013; according to Iceland’s Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson.

On 30 March Brussels hosted a meeting which is going to shape Iceland's accession to the EU. Opening on four new negotiating chapters and provisionally closing on two chapters - Consumer and Health Protection, Foreign Security and Defence Policy - and opened negotiations on a further two chapters - Competition Policy and Energy - the conference has made a remarkable ap-

The next Accession Conference, being at ministerial level, is going to be held in June taking the process further forward.


Youth Intern Action Day! - Wednesday 16th May rights. The programme foresees public debates, various activities, musical intermezzos and concerts in the evenAre you an intern? If so, it is the right time ing. The event is a chance for young people and youth to act! On Wednesday 16 May 2012 the Euorganisations to get involved, share their experience and ropean Youth Forum, in cooperation with show how they are working on the topic of youth emother partner organisations, will host the ployment, internships and apprenticeships. Besides, the YO! Fest 2012: Intern Action Day. The festievent will be a platform to present the “European Quality val will take place on the Esplanade of the European ParCharter on Internships and Apprenticeships” to Martin liament in the heart of Brussels and the aim of this festiSchulz, President of the European Parliament, and Lazlo val is to bring together Interns and apprentices from all Andor, European Commissioner for Employment. over Europe to give them a platform to discuss their


2011 was special - so is 2012!

European level and will be welcoming over 60 civil society organisations is expected to be formed by September 2012.

2011 – the European Year of Volunteering - was a special year for all those who have devoted themselves to voluntarily work. Now that the year has passed, the European Youth Forum is determined to maintain its legacy and give attention to the importance of volunteering. A Volunteer Alliance Platform which will be active at the

Editor: Editor Paul Claes

To read more about what was accomplished during the 2011 European Year of Volunteering, click here to see the EYV Alliance’s Yearbook.: http://www.eyv2011.eu/

Layout: Layout Gizem Bayer

Contributions by: by Paul Claes, Izabela Jurczik-Arnold, Elisa Briga, Stefania Francescon, Gizem Bayer Pictures by: by EFIL, AFS Germany, AFS Switzerland, AFS Russia, AFS Slovenia, AFS Serbia We welcome your contributions! If you would like to subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) this newsletter, please contact the EFIL Secretariat at gizem.bayer@afs.org Reproduction of texts and pictures is authorised provided the sources are quoted. To receive further information about EFIL, please check our website www.efil.afs.org


Profile for European Federation for Intercultural Learning

EFILife April 2012  

The Newsletter of the European Federation for Intercultural Learning

EFILife April 2012  

The Newsletter of the European Federation for Intercultural Learning

Profile for efil.2012